“Spending more or less does not necessarily imply ‘good’ or ‘bad’ levels,” said Williams, “For example, a low spend relative to peers may signal efficiency, but it may also reflect underinvestment. Likewise, high spend may show a need to cut costs, but perhaps it reflects a finance function that has invested into capabilities to serve as a strategic business partner.”
Traditional finance function benchmarks group companies within a wide band of similarly sized peers. Cost Curves allow organizations to pinpoint their expected spend for a specific annual revenue. This allows companies to identify not only how they compare now but how expected spend may change as they grow.
Data for Gartner’s Cost Curves originates from Gartner’s Finance Budget & Efficiency Benchmark. Finance spend includes personnel spend (in-house salaries, benefits, bonus, training and development, and travel and entertainment spend), finance technology spend (software, hardware, people, and external contractors and services), outsourcing, and consultants and professional services spend across eight processes in finance:
1. Finance Management and Administration
2. Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A)
3. Accounting and Reporting
4. Transactional Finance
7. Investor Relations
8. Internal Audit
External audit fees, bank fees, insurance premiums, procurement, real estate and corporate IT expenses are excluded from the finance spend data for all participating companies.